Added Attic Insulation Can Help Solve Excessive Condensation
LESLIE: Stan in Texas, who is seeing some excessive condensation, you’ve got The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
STAN: I’ve got excessive humidity to the point that sometimes I even see drops off one of the registers in the bathroom. In the second floor of my home, I have a heat pump or air-conditioner unit in the attic, just above the second floor.
TOM: Mm-hmm. Right.
STAN: And I’ve had to turn on a dehumidifier in my bedroom just to keep most of the humidity out. And I was wondering if there was any really good way – not too expensive – to get most of the humidity out of the attic space which, of course, is affecting the humidity in the second floor.
TOM: Couple of things. First of all, is some of that excessive condensation coming off the metal ducts in the attic?
STAN: I can’t say for sure it’s – most of the things that are up there are wasps and it’s hard enough just to put my head up there, so …
TOM: That’s the business end, OK?
TOM: That’s where you’ve got to go, so if you’ve got to get an exterminator to handle those wasps, then go ahead and do that.
But two things. Number one, you need to insulate those ducts because that warm, moist air in the attic is probably what the source of a lot of that excessive condensation is, especially where the register – if it’s close to the ceiling.
TOM: So you want to add additional insulation there.
And then the other thing that you could do is you could add what’s called a “whole-house dehumidifier.” It’s actually built into the HVAC system. And while air conditioners themselves do have a dehumidifying effect, they’re not efficient dehumidifiers. A whole-house dehumidifier is. And it’ll basically run and it can pull – some of them can pull, I don’t know, 90 to 100 quarts of water out a day. They’re really efficient with excessive condensation.
STAN: OK. Could that be an add-on or does it have to actually come with the …?
TOM: Oh, no, no. It’s an add-on. Yeah, it’s like when you add an electric air filter or something of that nature. Basically, you put it in on the return-duct side.
STAN: Yeah, OK. It’s going to be kind of a tight squeeze, because there’s not much room between there and a metal roof.
STAN: So I guess I’ll probably have to throw another couple of dollars and a couple of cases of beer to whoever will install it.
TOM: Well, my advice would be to not throw the money or the beer until the job is done.